About this course
LJMU’s DBA provides senior executives and managers with the opportunity to achieve the highest academic degree while remaining in full-time employment.
- Equivalent to a PhD, the DBA is ideal for those who would like a doctoral level qualification whilst remaining in their chosen professional career
- Focus on situational issues from your own workplace, whilst continuing your employment
- Enhance not only your ability to develop new knowledge, but also the ability to apply that knowledge to a professional context
- Gain the necessary skills to carry out rigorous research
- Carry out individual projects that impact on your organisation and industry
- Undertake your research amongst a carefully-selected, highly diverse group of professionals, drawn from a wide range of nationalities, industries, cultures and backgrounds
- Develop your skills and meet your supervisors at a number of residential workshops in Liverpool
Join a cohort of senior professionals and apply your research directly to the needs of your business, driving forward organisational progress without putting your learning or your business on hold. You will contribute to commercial and academic knowledge and, on graduation, will possess a specialist range of problem solving and decision making strategies that will take you to the next level of success.
The DBA at Liverpool Business School is unique in its design and structure and the level of support it provides to the candidates. It has been running successfully for 10 years and we have recently modified the design, following feedback and consultation with previous candidates, to ensure it continues to meet the current needs of candidates. This refined programme will run for the first time in January 2019.
The programme will be of particular benefit to experienced business professionals. A DBA will enhance professional capability and credibility, enable you to develop networks, and provide a firm foundation for further career development or a major career move. Employers benefit from supporting candidates for the DBA by attracting, developing and retaining key talent and building knowledge for competitive advantage.
Liverpool Business School is a member of the Executive DBA Council (EDBAC) and, as such, we believe in fostering excellence and innovation in executive doctoral degree programmes.
The DBA will enable you to develop a sound understanding of the relevant conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of your chosen are of research into business and management. By learning research techniques for advanced academic and management enquiry you will be able to carry out your own original research. In becoming a reflective practitioner you will enhance your professional practice, as well as contribute to theory and practice in business and management.
In contrast to a PhD, a DBA requires a contribution to both theory and practice. Candidates on the DBA are therefore required to demonstrate that they make an impact on the development of a profession and/or an organisation.
This impact can be demonstrated within the organisation the candidate is employed in or in another organisation, including professional bodies or policy. This close link to industry and practice can be highly beneficial for the employer too, with many previous DBA research projects resulting in large financial savings for organisations that candidates implemented them in.
As part of the course, you will benefit from the following:
Workshops (year 1 – 3 only)
- 7 residential workshops each 4 days long at Liverpool Business School
- Catering throughout the day
- Accommodation for 3 nights including breakfast and dinner at the hotel for each workshop
- Networking event during each workshop (includes catering)
- Dinner at a local restaurant
- Supervision throughout the duration of your doctoral studies by two qualified DBA supervisors
Other opportunities and events
- Participation in the DBA Writing Retreats which are facilitated twice per year at Liverpool Business School including catering
- Participation in the Doctoral Conference at Liverpool Business School including catering
- Participation in research methods training offered by NARTI (Northern Advanced Research Training Initiative)
- Participation in the monthly Action Learning Sets which are facilitated by an academic member of staff of LBS via Adobe Connect
- Access to thousands of academic journals and books including e-books through the LJMU online library resources
You also have access to the doctoral facilities at LBS whenever you decide to come to Liverpool.
Fees and funding
If you need advice about how to pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU’s Student Funding Team.
All students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or in instalments.
LJMU Alumni Award
If you're a former Liverpool John Moores University student, you could be eligible for a 20% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees. The fee reduction will apply automatically to eligible students. You’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.
Further your career prospects
LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2016) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.
If you are employed during the course of your DBA, you will probably undertake research which directly links to your employer's area of business. This will be of great benefit to you and your employer, particularly if you are focused on a large-scale project.
Previous students have found that the research undertaken during their DBA has helped them gain valuable and objective feedback which has essentially provided their employers with high levels of focused, internal consultancy.
The following core modules are subject to validation.
The design is based on two principles:
- Allow full-time professionals from all over the world to undertake doctoral studies part-time.
- Provide the full-time professionals with the necessary skills, knowledge, tools and techniques to undertake high quality research on a doctoral level and contributing to their professional practice.
Based on these two principles we've designed the following structure:
Three residential workshops (taught elements) each 4 days long will take place in Liverpool. These workshops focus on the planning process of the research, on refining the topic and basic research methods.
Year 2 and 3
Two residential workshops, each 4 days long per year, will take place in Liverpool. These workshops focus on the execution of the research, i.e. data collection and analysis, but also on a dissemination and impact strategy, as well as academic writing and viva preparation.
Year 4 – 7
Our experience shows that DBA candidates typically take four years to complete their thesis, whereas the maximum duration of the programme is seven years. During year 4 – 7 no residential workshops take place. The thesis can be submitted any time during year 4 – 7.
The DBA consists of three core modules:
• Planning Module
This centres around planning your research supported by taught elements and covers planning your research, defining and refining your topic and basic research methods
• Investigative Project Module
This centres around the execution of your research supported by taught elements and covers literature review, research design with data collection and analysis plus the discussion of findings
• Reflective Module
This centres around reflection of your personal development during the DBA journey, is supported by taught elements and covers module processes and portfolio
An insight into teaching on your course
During years 1 to 3 you will attend seven residential workshops, each fours days long, at Liverpool Business School.
You will learn through lectures, doctoral conferences, training programmes, e-library resources and visiting business leaders from around the world.
The course will equip you with the necessary skills to carry out rigorous research, while providing the flexibility to carry out individual projects that impact your organisation and industry.
The supervision during doctoral studies is a key element of the experience. Our DBA candidates are supervised only by full-time academics employed at Liverpool Business School who are research active themselves and have a track record of publications and conference presentations.
The supervisory team is usually made up of two supervisors. If the circumstances require it a third supervisor can be added to the team. All our supervisors attend regular supervisor training workshops and are familiar with the most recent developments in supervising professional doctorate candidates.
If a DBA is undertaken within an organisation, an industrial advisor can be added to the supervisory team to represent the interests from practice. This is usually a manager or senior professional who is already an expert in the field of research.
How learning is monitored on your programme
To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.
There are various assessments throughout the programme. During year 1 there are three assessments to submit relating to each of the residential workshops (research plan, research proposal, methodological considerations). Furthermore, in year 2 and 3 there are four assessments to submit, again linked to the residential workshops (literature review, presentation, publishable paper, impact plan). These assessments are graded on a pass/fail basis.
The final submission, which leads to the award of the doctorate, is the thesis. This can be submitted at the earliest after completion of year 3. It must be 80,000 words (+/- 10%). The assessment of the thesis takes place in form of an oral examination undertaken by two examiners, who are experts in your field. One examiner is from LJMU and one is external.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Christine is responsible for the design, delivery and development of the DBA programme. She is an expert on doctoral education and training through undertaking research in this area, organising and hosting conferences and engaging with the community. With more than 10 years’ professional experience in industry she is particularly interested in bridging the gap between academia and practice. Christine has won several awards and research grants for her work in the area of psycho-social aspects of project management. She supervises DBA and PhD candidates and is interested in developing and supporting researchers.
The DBA is an excellent opportunity for executives and professionals to develop their skills and to gain a doctoral qualification. I really enjoy seeing the candidates develop during their doctoral journey. It is very satisfying to see how their world view changes and how they become more critical reflective scholarly practitioners. I am very passionate about this and want to support them in the best possible way.
What you can expect from your School
The School is based in the Redmonds Building, in the heart of the bustling Mount Pleasant Campus and Liverpool’s growing Knowledge Quarter. Redmonds is shared by three Schools within the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies – Liverpool Business School, Liverpool Screen School and the School of Law - making for a rich blend of student learning experiences. The building is home to high quality lecture theatres and seminar rooms, social spaces, and a café. It is only a short walk from LJMU’s Aldham Robarts Library, which contains all the resources you will require for your studies, and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Order your brochure Research
You will need:
A DBA, which is a doctoral level qualification, is a challenging, but also rewarding journey. In order to make sure you are suitable for the programme we have defined the following entry requirements for the programme:
- A master's degree in the area of business and/or management
- At least two years of managerial or five years of other working experience
In order to make an application to the programme you need to provide the following documents via the online application:
- Curriculum vitae
- Master's certificate and transcript in the area of business and/or management – these must be official English translations
- Evidence of at least two years of managerial or five years of other working experience – this can be e.g. a confirmation by your current employer or a reference letter from a former employer
- An academic reference, which recommends you for the programme – this can be e.g. from your master's institution
- An industry reference, which recommends you for the programme – this can be e.g. from your employer, from a client and/or professional body
- Personal statement (max. 2,000 words) – this is not a full research proposal, but should address why you would like to do a DBA, why you think you are suitable for the programme and what you expect from the DBA. You should furthermore provide a brief outline of your research topic and its contribution to theory and practice. Please don't forget to indicate to which topic/member of staff your research outline corresponds.
How your application is considered:
- The application is screened to ensure the candidate meets the entry requirements and has submitted all their supporting documents.
- If the candidate meets the minimum entry requirements and all documents have been received, the application is passed to the appropriate academics within the School for consideration and to identify a suitable supervisory team.
- The DBA Team and/or an appropriate academic member of staff will interview the applicant and make a decision following the interview. For applicants in the UK, they are invited to attend the interview in person at Liverpool Business School. For applicants based elsewhere, the interview will normally take place by telephone, Skype or Adobe Connect.
The deadline for applications for the January 2019 intake is 15 November 2018. Should you have any queries regarding the entry criteria or documents required, please contact the Faculty Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LJMU welcomes applications from international candidates. Most of the studying and learning will be undertaken via distance learning in your home country and there are only a small number of residential days in Liverpool required.
In addition to the outlined entry requirements for home applicants, you will be expected to demonstrate a good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.5 (with no single component below 6.0) or equivalent.
For UK visa requirements, please contact the UK Entry Clearance or contact LJMU's International Advice Team: email@example.com
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.
- When submitting your online application form, you must also provide the following documents:
- Masters degree certificate
- Transcript of Masters study
- An academic reference
- A reference from your current employer
- A personal statement (1500-2000 words) to include:
- reasons why you want to study on the DBA course
- reasons why you are suitable for the course
- details of your previous research experience and a brief introduction to your research including the title, a literature review of current studies, research methods and the contribution made by your research
Should you have any queries regarding the entry criteria or documents required, please contact the Faculty Admissions Office.
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.